Friday, July 29, 2011

GIVEAWAY: Celebrating 10,000 Hits!

Instead of Funny Friday today, I wanted to thank you all for helping Keeping it Simple reach 10,000 hits!!!

I am celebrating by giving away my fave, The Boppy Lounger!  You pick the color!

To enter to win, please "like" Keeping it Simple on facebook and make a comment on this post with a question/topic you would like me to blog about in the future.  You do not have to be expecting to enter to win...You could give it as a gift at your next baby shower.

Winner will be announced next Friday, August 5.  You can increase your chances of winning by having people you send to the facebook page say you recommended Keeping it Simple, so be sure to share the link through your own page!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Luella and June Inspired: Lace it Up

Today's maternity pick was inspired by Luella and June's "Lace it Up."  It was always so hard to find things to wear to cocktail events when i was pregnant, but I love this lace option! 

Click here to purchase.

To see other maternity picks, click here.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Eye in the Sky

My name is Janann and I have a gambling addiction. 

I make it no secret that I LOVE craps.  If there was a table anywhere in my city limit, L’s college fund would be in trouble.  When I was in my first trimester, I went to Vegas for a bachelorette party.  I was still keeping my pregnancy under wraps which was no easy task in that town!    When I would make my secret departure from the clubs dying to get some sleep, I managed to find myself at the craps table for a couple more hours.

(***Keeping it Simple*** side note:  To hide my pregnancy, I drank ginger ale in a champagne flute and it worked like a charm.  The key is in the bubbles.)

As demonstrated in Smock-tions, I tend to use gambling references more often than I should.  Today’s post is no different.  We call our baby video monitor “ The Eye in the Sky." 

My husband takes it even further when he puts L down in the crib.  When he knows I am watching through the monitor, he put L in her sleep sack and “checks out” like a black jack dealer by flipping his hands in front of the camera.  You know what I mean?  They have to show the Eye in the Sky that they are not holding any chips or cards up their sleeves.  Why do some jokes never get old?  It still makes me laugh!

This very long intro is to present the Summer Infant Video Monitor

When I was registering, I thought the video monitor seemed unnecessary and only registered for the audio monitor.  A couple of people decided against my choice and got the video monitor anyways.  I am thankful to them daily.  IT IS THE BOMB! 

I can't tell you how much it helped us implement Baby Wise.  We learned L's sleep habits: when she was just talking in her sleep and when she was actually awake.  Letting her cry it out was one of the hardest things to do when sleep training.  I found that hearing the cry was completely unbearable and would make me want to go pick her up immediately.  With the video, I could mute the volume and just keep the video part on.  Success! 

I highly recommend making the investment towards a video monitor.  They keep coming out with new models, so it is hard to recommend a specific one.  Read the reviews to decide which one would be best for you. 

Registry suggestion:  Also, register for an audio monitor for travel and staying with grandparents.  Since you mount the camera for the video monitor, it is not easily portable. 

Good luck to you with your eye in the sky and all future craps rolls!  I guess are new saying the next time we roll will have to be , "Baby needs a new pair shoes!"

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Shout Out to the Type A

For all you Type A personalities, here is a GREAT baby shower (or any party for that matter) budget planning tool. We used it recently and it worked so perfectly!  Here is a broken up version of it.  If you would like the excel spreadsheet with all the formulas, please email me and I can send it to you.  It can be easily adjusted to fit your needs. 

Baby Name:
HostessesTasksCan/Can't Attend$ Spent
Gift Registry: 
Approx Invited Guests: 
Overall Budget
If $50/hostess
If $75/hostess
If $100/hostess
If $125/hostess
If $150/hostess

Task:% value
rsvp email/phone 0%

if $50/hostess,
$ to spend
if $75/hostess,
$ to spend
if $100/hostess,
$ to spend
if $125/hostess,
$ to spend
if $150/hostess,
$ to spend

Actual $ spent

Monday, July 25, 2011

Longhorn Envy

Kinda wishing I could have one of these for myself ;)  Miss L is ready for game day!

Thank you Barefoot Designs!  This is absolutely precious!  I have a feeling you might be hearing from a few of my fellow Longhorns soon.

The Toddler Cafe

After I posted the baked fries recipe, I wanted to try to find more toddler friendly recipes.  I recently ran across this great blog called The Toddler Cafe.  Before I know it, L will be a toddler and I want to have some good, go-to recipes.  I thought this cheese stick idea was pretty clever to have your toddler try new flavors.

Click here to read more about it.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Funny Friday: Pippi Longstocking

I am not quite sure that this is actually for sale since I can't seem to find a price anywhere, but it did make me laugh...THE BABY MOP!

You can't really see the text, but it says "make your children work for their keep."  Haha!  Since L is just on the verge of crawling, I think I might just try it ;)  She could be a crawling version of Pippi Longstocking!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Up in the Air 3

As promised in Up in the Air and Up in the Air 2, the final installment of Larkin's traveling with infants advice.  Today she shares a story about the first time she flew.  I had no idea that security tests your milk!  Thank you Larkin for all your travel insight!

My daughter was 3 ½ months old when I decided to fly home (1 hour, 20 minute flight) to see my family.  I did not know what to expect since I had never flown with a baby.  Since I was flying alone, my husband and I decided to buy our daughter her own seat so that I had a place to keep the car seat in our case our daughter got fussy.  Thinking I was organized, I packed her diaper bag full of anything and everything I thought she might need.  I never check my jewelry, camera, make-up brushes, etc. because I’ve experienced airlines losing my luggage too many times.  I also had to pack my pump with accessories.  I did not want that getting lost so it went in my carry-on bag.  That was probably the most valuable thing I took with me (other than my daughter, of course)!  Security was a little tough because you have to carry your child through, the stroller does not fold down enough to go through the x-ray machine, you have to put the car seat through the x-ray machine, and you still have to take off your shoes, etc.  Plus, security has to test your milk to make sure it is not an explosive.  I was like “really, does it look like I am carrying liquids just for fun?”  But security was actually very helpful and patient with me.  Once I made it through security and had all my gear together, I was strolling through the airport with no problem.  My daughter was a trooper and continued to sleep the whole time. 
It was finally time to board our flight.  When you travel with young children, you get to board first.  I thought, “this will be a breeze.”  I pushed the stroller down the jet bridge, unclicked her car seat from the stroller, placed the stroller on the gate-checked baggage cart, and was boarding the plane.  Well, I had forgotten how small the aisles of the plane were and I had to carry her car seat above the aisle to make it fit without hitting other passengers in the face.  Even while doing this, my carry-on bag and the diaper bag were still taking out each chair I passed.
The flight attendant walks up beside me and I’m thinking “this is wonderful, she is going to help me.”  Instead, this is what comes out of her mouth, “does your child have her own seat?”

            “Yes ma’am, she does.”

            “Well, next time you need to learn to travel with less. I have three small children I travel with and I never have that much stuff. You do not need that much stuff. You really need to learn to be organized and pack less when you travel with a small child.”

            I wanted to turn around, slug her with the car seat, and cuss at her, but I thought I might get thrown off the plane if I did.  So instead I replied, as politely as I could,

“Ma’am, this is my first flight with her.  I did not know how she would be and if there would be delays, so I wanted to be prepared. I thought a diaper bag and my purse was pretty light.”
She just sighed in a condescending way and let me continue down the aisle to my seat, judging me the whole time.  I was causing a traffic jam behind me due to this encounter with the flight attendant, but I just wanted to get to our seat and take off without any more lip from the flight attendant.

            We had a very pleasant flight, and my daughter slept the whole way.  We have flown a few more times since then—sometimes just me and my daughter and sometimes with my husband as well—and ever since that first flight most everyone is very helpful and polite.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wonder Woman # 1

My husband and I were married 4 years before I got pregnant with L.  My in-laws were very patient the first few years and hardly ever pressured us to have children, but we knew they were MORE than ready for grandkids.  Well, my father-in-law had a few cocktails one night and couldn't hold it in any longer.  He told me, "I want you to take some of those fertility drugs and pop out 8 at once.  I want some grandchildren!"  He proceeded to call me the "ocoto-mom" the rest of the night. While I always longed to be Nadya (kidding), I decided not to go through with my father-in-law's plan.

His dream of 8 at once did not come true.  I can offer no advice for those of you execting 2 or more babies.  I reached out to my friends with twins for some baby product advice.  I am going to peridocally feature these multiple moms. 

Wonder Woman # 1 (this is what I have named them because they are so remarkable and have the best outlook) is Gibbs.

Gibbs had twins, went back to work after 3 months, nursed for 8 months, and makes it all look way too easy!  She recommends the following three products:

Gibbs says, "The best book I read for scheduling and helping with other stuff too"

Gibbs says, "There are also sports bras that zip in the front for easy access (especially tandem nursing twins if anyone is expecting multiples) and comfortable to sleep in too!"  ***Keeping it Simple side note*** You can find these anywhere between $15-$50.  Look at sporting goods store near you.

Gibbs says, "I definitely recommend the My Brest Friend Twin nursing pillow for tandem nursing"

General twin advice from Gibbs:  "I think the most important thing for moms who are expecting multiples is to remember it is what you make of it- you will have people telling you it is going to be crazy, but especially if they are your first children, then you don't know the difference. If you think it will be crazy, it will be, but if you go into it knowing it will be challenging, but go with the flow, it will be so much more enjoyable (and this is coming from one of the most OCD people when it comes to planning and organizing)! That being said, you have to have them on a schedule from day one. You feed them both at the same time- even if that means waking up one of them to eat. All of the normal rules you follow for a singleton go out the window- never wake a sleeping baby, feeding on demand, don't bottle feed if you are breast feeding, etc. It is totally different with twins."

If you would like to participate in the Wonder Woman series, please email me.

Barefoot Designs Giveaway Winner!

And the winner  of a $15 credit towards Barefoot Designs chosen by is...

Congratulations Amy!  We will contact you about the credit!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Helpful Tidbits

As soon as you can after your baby is born, start a play group.  The babies don't really "play," but the moms sure do!   It was a great resource to talk with the other moms and a reason to get out of the house.  We shared so many ideas and products with each other (milkies and the nose frida discoveries came from my play dates).  It is hard when they are only a few weeks to get out, but this was always worth it!

SALE REMINDER:  The semi-annual sale ends tomorrow


Monday, July 18, 2011

My mind boggles me!

How did I manage to plan a trip for 16 people, but leave my purse and computer in the rental car!

Should be getting my stuff back this evening! Apologies, but the giveaway will be postponed until tomorrow evening when I won't be typing from my husbands iPhone ;)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Funny Friday

Guaranteed to make you smile!  L doesn't quite have a belly laugh yet, but I can't wait until she does!
Have a great weekend!

Don't forget to enter for the Barefoot Designs giveaway.

You must complete all three things listed to qualify.  Click here for details.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Up in the Air 2

As promised in the first Up in the Air post, a few more useful travel tips from Larkin.  This time she weighs the pros and cons of buying a separate seat for your infant.  I definitely learned some things!

First Scenario – Buying your child a seat

·         Your child has the comfort of the car seat (assuming your child likes the car seat).  Your child can just sit in the car seat and play or nap, but either way your hands are free.
·         If you are on a small plane that only has two seats on each side of the aisle, you do not need to sit by a stranger. It is just you and your child.

·         Security takes a lot longer, because you have to disassemble all of your gear to get through security and then put it all back in place to get to your gate.
·         You might accidentally take someone or something out while getting on the plane while trying to lug a car seat and your carry-on bags.
·         The price of a child’s ticket is the same as an adult ticket.

One thing to remember if choosing this scenario is that you should be sure you have a stroller that is a Snap N' Go style when going through the airport.  This type of stroller means you won’t have to carry the heavy car seat plus your bags all by yourself.

Second Scenario – Infant in Lap

·         It is easy to get on the plane.
·         Saves you money.


·         If your child is fussy or sleepy, there is nowhere for them to go other than your lap.
·         Your arms and hands are never free.
·         You might have a wiggly child that could cause you or your child to constantly bump the person next to you.
·         Not all airlines have the option for booking a child-in-lap ticket on their websites so you may have to call the airline to reserve the ticket.  The catch is that some airlines (ahem, American Airlines) charge you $20 when you call the reservations agent to make the reservations, even though there is no other way to do it.

If you choose this scenario, I would suggest using a Baby Bjorn.  This allows you to have your hands free for whatever you need and you are not constantly repositioning your child.  You do have to take your child out of the BABYBJĂ–RN to go through security. 

***Keeping it Simple side note*** - I had some friends that forbid me from buying one of these.  They told me, "You will not wear your baby."  My answer to them, "I do not rule anything out if it makes it more convienient."  Someone else recommended the Bjorn to me when you have multiple children saying it was much easier to be handsfree around the house.  Like my friends say, if you don't want to wear your baby out and about, no problem.  However, do allow exemptions for around the house and going through secutiy at the airport.  I think this is such a fantastic suggestion from Larkin.

Don't forget to enter for the Barefoot Designs giveaway.

You must complete all three things listed to qualify.  Click here for details.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

CopyCat: A bad thing?

Growing up, I was never one to care if someone copied me.  After all, copying is the highest form a flattery.  Why is copycat a negative term, just take a look at these two!?!?  They are too cute to be thought of in a bad way!

Now that I am a grown up (ha), I flatter (copy) all sorts of people!  I am no Martha Stewart or even close to it,  but I like to consider myself an expert googler.  There are some fantastic ideas out there!  I have gathered some ideas about baby showers decorations and activities that I would love to share with you.  Please copycat my copycats!

I have renamed these awesome things Puffkins.  We made them for a baby shower I was hosting last weekend.  I was a bit nervous because usually the make your own decorations things looks way easier in the picture than it turns out to be.  These were actually really easy!  We found this article from Martha Stewart with the step by step instructions, but here are my pictures to see a different vantage point.

8 sheets of 20x30 tissue paper

Fold 1.5 inch accordian style

place a wire around the center

Round the edges with scissors

Pull each layer of tissue paper to "fluff" it up

Hang with ribbon

My mom had the idea to stuff them at the top as well

I had a couple thoughts after we made them.  We could have alternated the colors of tissue papers to make multicolored Puffkins.  Also, it might be cute to use tulle or organza, but thought they turned out pretty cute as they were.  I think they added a lot more than flowers and were a fraction of the cost.  At Michaels craft store they sell pre-assembled Martha Stewart "Puffkin" making kits for $20, but we just bought all the pieces separately and it was only $10. 

Good luck!  Please send pictures if you decide to copycat or improve on the idea! 

More baby shower ideas to come!

Don't forget to enter for the Barefoot Designs giveaway.

You must complete all three things listed to qualify.  Click here for details.
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